Trump picks school-choice advocate for ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CHRISTI PAR­SONS

WASHINGTON

Tri­bune Washington Bureau

— Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump chose a Michi­gan char­ter school advocate and prom­i­nent Repub­li­can donor to serve as his sec­re­tary of Ed­u­ca­tion, he said Wed­nes­day, a de­ci­sion that may hearten sup­port­ers of school choice but worry teacher unions — and even some of Trump’s core sup­port­ers.

Trump’s pick, Betsy DeVos, is a cham­pion of char­ter schools and school vouch­ers that give fam­i­lies tax funds they can spend on pri­vate school if they’re not happy with their lo­cal pub­lic schools.

DeVos, 58, served as chair­woman of the Michi­gan Repub­li­can Party, a cre­den­tial that ties her to the party es­tab­lish­ment re­viled by many Trump sup­port­ers.

She and her fam­ily are among the coun­try’s largest donors to Repub­li­can and con­ser­va­tive Chris­tian causes, in­clud­ing op­po­si­tion to same-sex mar­riage.

She has also backed the Com­mon Core ini­tia­tive to stan­dard­ize ed­u­ca­tional re­quire­ments across the na­tion. Trump re­peat­edly called for its demise.

In a tweet af­ter her se­lec­tion was an­nounced, DeVos dis­avowed past sup­port for Com­mon Core, ac­knowl­edg­ing that the topic was an is­sue among con­ser­va­tive ac­tivists.

In his state­ment an­nounc­ing her as his choice, Trump called DeVos a “bril­liant and pas­sion­ate” ed­u­ca­tion advocate.

“Un­der her lead­er­ship, we will re­form the U.S. ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem and break the bu­reau­cracy that is hold­ing our chil­dren back so that we can de­liver world-class ed­u­ca­tion and school choice to all fam­i­lies,” Trump said in the state­ment.

ANDY KATZ/PA­CIFIC PRESS/SIPA USA/TNS

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump with Betsy DeVos, whom Trump has cho­sen as his sec­re­tary of ed­u­ca­tion, on Nov. 19 in Bed­min­ster, N.J.

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